The Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns meet on Thursday Night Football to get Week 7 started in the NFL.
This could have been a fairly decent matchup if there were healthy starting quarterbacks in the game. That’s not going to be the case. Baker Mayfield wants to play after fully tearing his left labrum.
This isn’t his throwing shoulder, and Baker had been playing on a lame shoulder for the last few weeks, but a full tear is a different situation.
Browns QB Baker Mayfield (shoulder) says decision to play vs. Broncos on "TNF" is his: "I get to say whether I play or not, and that's just how it is"https://t.co/U8ErStxbTA pic.twitter.com/3xWdUq9mze
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) October 19, 2021
He might want to play, but it wouldn’t be a wise move for him to potentially destroy his shoulder after landing on it the wrong way again. There are worse shoulder injuries out there, and he could get to that point if he isn’t careful.
The Broncos are dealing with injuries at quarterback as well. He was hit a whopping 17 times against the Las Vegas Raiders.
It isn’t like the Raiders are some elite defense either. They were getting through the Broncos’ terrible offensive line easily. What are the Browns going to do in this one? If the Broncos play the same, then it could be just as ugly.
Bridgewater is intending on going for this one with a sore foot. He’s limping while Baker is walking around slouched with a bad shoulder.
Not ideal for either team, but they both want to give it a go. Bridgewater likely has a much better chance of starting than Mayfield. Does it really matter with Pat Shurmur calling the plays?
Broncos expect Teddy Bridgewater to start Thursday despite foot injury. https://t.co/maRn66wY5v
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) October 19, 2021
Schumur just looks like he’s guessing out there and isn’t calling the playbook correctly. If the offense continues to sputter, it has to be hard keeping him around through the end of the season.
The Broncos will, but probably shouldn’t. There just doesn’t seem to be any rhythm going on. Off two poor performances for the Cleveland defense, they have to be looking at Denver as a bounce back spot.
The Browns are coming off a 37-14 loss against the Arizona Cardinals at home. This was after dropping a 47-42 loss in LA in a crazy one against the Chargers. From 3-1 to 3-3 in a hurry.
Their only loss was against the Kansas Chiefs in Week 1 before the Chargers loss. Everything was going well for the Browns. Everything was going well for the Broncos as well.
They had a record of 3-1, with their only loss at the time a one-point 32-31 loss against the Raiders in the season opener. The teams they beat were nothing special, though.
The Broncos have wins over the Giants, Jaguars, and Jets. That speaks for itself. Head below for our free Broncos vs. Browns pick on October 21, 2021.
Denver Broncos vs. Cleveland Browns Live Odds and Betting History:
The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:
|Denver Broncos||+3.5 (-120)||+150||Over 42.5 (-107)|
|Cleveland Browns||-3.5 (+100)||-170||Under 42.5 (-113)|
|Team Data||Denver Broncos||Cleveland Browns|
|Points Per Game||21||26|
|Points Against Per Game||18.3||25.2|
|Passing Yards Per Game||250.8||227.8|
|Rushing Yards Per Game||117.5||168.5|
Broncos vs. Browns Prediction:
Teddy Bridgewater finished with 334 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions against the Raiders at Mile High. 334 yards doesn’t sound too bad, but much of that was garbage time in the 4th quarter with the game out of reach.
— Denver Broncos 365 (@DailyBroncos) October 18, 2021
The Broncos were down 31-10 going into the 4th quarter. It was a sad display at home, especially from the offensive line which allowed Bridgewater to feel pressure non-stop. They were unable to take advantage of the off-field distractions of the Raiders.
Now with Bridgewater playing on a bad foot, he’s not going to be able to maneuver as well. Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney have both been banged up, but are expected to play. Garrett has been a full participant in practice, while Clowney has been limited.
Even at half speed, Garett and Clowney should get pressure against an offensive line giving up a sack on 7.98% of plays. The Broncos are 26th in the NFL in sacks allowed. The Browns’ defense is tied with the LA Rams for the most sacks per game at 3. This just isn’t a good matchup for a quarterback playing on one foot.
Denver Broncos vs. Cleveland Browns Betting Trends:
- 11-3 ATS in their previous 14 games on a Thursday
- 10-4 ATS in their previous 14 games after failing to cover the spread
- 5-1 ATS in their previous six games versus the Browns
- 11-1 overall in their previous 12 games versus the Browns
- 5-1 overall in their previous six games versus the Browns in Cleveland
- 7-3 ATS in their previous ten games on a Thursday
- 5-2 ATS in their previous seven games after failing to cover the spread
- 2-5 ATS in their previous seven games as a favorite at home
- 1-4 ATS in their previous five games at home
- 1-4 ATS in their previous five games in October
The Broncos have defensive line problems, but the Browns could be worse due to injuries. Along with a banged up offensive line, star running back Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are going to be absent.
Chubb missed last week, giving the starting role to Hunt in the backfield. That was until Hunt left on a cart. He will be OUT for the next few weeks with a calf injury. That leaves D’Ernest Johnson as the lead running back for the Browns.
The 25-year-old ran for 166 yards on 33 carries and 3 touchdowns in his second season in the NFL. That was good for a more than acceptable yards per carry of 5 yards. However, the offensive line wasn’t this injured then.
Cleveland are worse than the Broncos with a sack allowed on 9.28% of plays. That’s 29th in the NFL. No Hunt, no Chubb, and a hobbled offensive line on Thursday night. The Broncos have allowed 85.5 rushing yards per game for fourth in the NFL. It’s by far their strongest unit on this team.
I’m looking at a final score of 20-17 or 21-14 in Cleveland on Thursday Night Football. This isn’t a game you probably want to tune-in to if you are looking for a high-scoring shootout like on Sunday night in Nashville. I like this one to stay UNDER the total at FirstEnergy Stadium.